Drinks By The Dram Product Review: Bowmore 12 Yr Old

  • normanlao
    Topic creator
    Member normanlao
    Joined: 13.08.2015Posts: 19CollectionNorm's CollectionRatings: 1

    I've had the chance through the Islay Whiskey Tasting set from Drinks By The Dram - to taste some interesting expressions. Here are a few of my notes if anyone would find them of interest:

    Bowmore 12 Year Old:

    On the Nose: For me, because I have been enjoying the "trinity" of Islays - Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, and have recently been introduced to Kilchoman by Mike at Abbey Whisky, this particular Bowmore 12 Year Old expression seemed slightly anemic to me in terms of the strength of the peat and smoke translation from the nosing. Yes, it does capture the traditional essence of Islay, the smoke and peat notes, as well as a touch of iodine and saltiness - but also does almost cross over into a Speyside with subtle layerings of lemon, honey and vanilla cream.

    Tasting: NEAT: Very mellow on the tongue because it is bottled at 40% ABV which allows you to enjoy the initial taste, foregoing the alcohol sear of higher ABVs or Cask Strength Islays. Layers of honey, vanilla, a slight tart dryness from the sherry cask. With WATER: The Flavors REALLY open up for me with the addition of a few drops of water (about 1 teaspoon to a 2 oz. dram) and the complexities actually improve with water. I experienced a stronger burnt caramel note with stronger expressions of smokey ham and saltiness. The water also increased a more impressive oily mouth feel which is more characteristic of an Islay.

    FInish: Not as long as I usually like in my Islays, dry, ashy, wooden and fading. There seems to be a lack of staying power in the finish of this 12 year - but again, I am stacking this review against what I think are the pinnacles of the Islays that I have tasted - but especially Kilchoman of which their FIVE year is FAR more complex, richer and rounder than this 12 year Bowmore expression.

    Drinks by the Dram is absolutely THE BEST way to test out all different types of whisky (whiskey) because it eliminates any "buyers remorse" and allows you to truly focus on tasting and less on investing. It does cost slightly more in terms of dollar per ounce costs, BUT you always pay a little more for a BUFFET than you do an entree and with a BUFFET, you at least get to try a variety of flavors instead of running the risk of being disappointed by your main course.

    Conclusion: I did enjoy the tasting but probably mostly because I did not invest in a WHOLE bottle. Comparatively, I still hold ALL of my Islay tastings to the Ardbeg Uigeadail because it is exactly what I expect from my Islay dram. That being said, not everyone appreciates or is able to enjoy the traditional smokey, briny and medicinal flavorings of stronger, peatier Islays so please take that into consideration when you read my review. All in all, a very mellow Islay - probably very pleasing to have around as variety in your daily drams. My malt score 84/100.

    "I am a Ranger." "We walk in the dark places no others will enter." "We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass." "We live for the One, we die for the One!"
    altimanmalt liked that
  • timbrownley Member timbrownley Joined: 10.04.2016Posts: 1Ratings: 0
    , edited April 10 2016 at 12:25PM

    You need to give this a try
    Bowmore 1965 22 Year

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